Did the first lady just get the last word? “I can’t believe … a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” Michelle Obama said yesterday. Dismissing Donald Trump’s comments as mere locker room talk is an “insult to decent men,” she continued. Her outrage bubbled hours after allegations surfaced from women saying the Republican candidate inappropriately touched them — claims he vehemently denies. President Obama will be on hand today, encouraging Clevelanders to vote, while Trump plans to woo voters in North Carolina.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They could call the whole thing off. Many in Britain had been hoping their government would aim for a “soft Brexit,” which would keep the country in the EU’s single market, stemming the expected exodus of banks from London. But European Council President Donald Tusk dampened those hopes, vetoing the possibility of enjoying EU perks without being a member. ”Brexit will be a loss for all of us,” he wrote — then floated the idea that Britain could still opt not to leave at all.
The whole country is wearing black. Thailand is beginning 30 days of mourning for its ruler of 70 years after his death at a Bangkok hospital yesterday. The monarchy is revered in Thailand — public criticism is punishable with jail time — and the king withstood multiple coup attempts in his lifetime. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, will succeed him — but the prince has asked for a delay before that happens, and many are watching the next monarch closely for clues about how he’ll shake up Thailand’s governance.
They just need more time. After a tiny margin of voters said no to his hard-won deal with FARC rebels, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos is scrambling to salvage peace from the negotiations anyway. Many Colombians feel the accord went too easy on the rebels after five decades of violent war, but after meeting with protesters still hoping for peace, Santos has extended the cease-fire with FARC to the end of 2016. He says he hopes the terms of a longstanding peace can be agreed “well before then.”
Know This: Rwanda’s launched the first national blood delivery service that uses drones. Rather than face international pressure over its record on human rights and corruption, the Maldives has opted to leave the Commonwealth. And the man accused of setting bombs in New York and New Jersey has pleaded not guilty from the hospital.
Read This: “With Pokémon Go, the world peeps through the game-layer, uncertain of its own powers — you, meanwhile, are a mighty illusion, stomping around the Poképanorama in your electric boots.” One man tries to pick apart the psychogeography of augmented reality.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz.
Haters gonna hate. Racially and religiously aggravated crime in England and Wales had been steadily rising between 2015 and 2016, according to a new Home Office report, but hate crime exploded in July, right after the Brexit vote, when police recorded a 41 percent increase. Though the government reported no corresponding uptick in non-racially charged offenses, other studies have shown a 147 percent increase in anti-LGBT crimes since June — a cautionary tale as Parliament mulls how to trigger Britain’s EU departure.
Maybe it is him, babe. The singer-songwriter took the stage in Las Vegas last night just hours after becoming the first musician (and first American since 1993) to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Before the announcement, Dylan’s odds of winning were 16-1 — he was tied for 8th place, despite many pundits calling for him to be recognized. During his concert, Dylan not only didn’t mention the prize, but barely spoke a word, instead allowing the Twitterati to debate whether his songs actually count as literature.
Getting rid of an explosive phone is harder than you’d think. The flagship Samsung phone has been recalled twice after about 100 reported cases of dangerous overheating, some of which ended in flames. Now the company’s struggling with safe recycling options that will minimize environmental impact. The more complex problem, though, is that many owners simply don’t want to give up their phones — or deal with the complicated return process — and more than a million people are reportedly still using them, despite the risk of scorching.
There are alternatives to cold turkey. Today, the French government’s opening a “shooting gallery” in central Paris — a clean, safe environment where addicts can self-inject. The facility, modeled on others in Switzerland, Germany and Spain, employs counselors and doctors who can offer users help and advice. While many say facilities like this encourage drug use — and 55 percent of the French public opposes them — others have welcomed the plan, hoping it will reduce overdoses and infections and help France’s most vulnerable get off the streets.
They threw a curveball. Washington was on top until the seventh inning of Game 5, when L.A. unleashed four runs to charge ahead, starting with Joc Pederson’s leadoff home run. Soon after, fans chanted “Metro sucks!” at an announcement that the last train of the night was set to depart with the game still in full swing. But Nats fans who stayed were not rewarded: Clayton Kershaw earned his first MLB save, closing out the ninth for a 4-3 win and a shot at the Cubs Saturday night in the NLCS.